The holidays may be an exciting time of the year for a lot of people, but they can also be very stressful for many too. One of the reasons for this is gathering family members in one place who might not get along with each other, and this includes siblings. Whether you’re personally affected by this, or you’re a parent of brothers or sisters who are at odds with one another, bullying can be hard to navigate. Here, you will learn some ways to help minimize its effects and hopefully have a more peaceful holiday gathering.
1. Stay Separated
Although it’s not ideal because it’s a bandaid for large issues, one straightforward but temporary solution to sibling bullying is to keep them apart from one another during family get-togethers.
Doing so can prevent fighting and outbursts for the time being, especially if jealousy is a common theme. For example, one sibling might bully another because they received a gift that they liked better or that they’re getting more attention from relatives.
This can be a more viable solution for adults who don’t get along and only need to see each other during the holidays, but it’s still better to try to stop the bullying entirely and try to work towards forming a better relationship.
2. Try To Understand Why
In most cases, bullying has a root cause for it. Sometimes it can happen just out of malice or spite, but usually, there is a reason for why it’s happening.
By listening and trying to understand why one sibling is bullying another, progress can be made to resolve the issue. However, it might not be easy at first.
Regardless if you’re a third party, such as a parent, or you’re one of the siblings in question, you might run into some complications in trying to get an answer. However, by being empathic and remaining calm, you can get them to cooperate and make a change.
3. Try Family Therapy
Family dynamics aren’t always easy to address on your own. Sometimes, those experiencing conflict will benefit from speaking with a professional who is trained to help families overcome the problems that they can encounter, including sibling bullying.
If bullying is an issue, reaching out to a family therapist can make a significant difference, especially if progress isn’t being made independently. By visiting BetterHelp, you can find additional resources on how to cope with bullying as well as learn how you can connect to a therapist who understands this issue and other family concerns.
Everything can be done entirely from home, and while it’s optimal to schedule an appointment before the holidays, it’s never too late to resolve family conflicts like bullying. In addition, the skills that are learned can last a lifetime, and siblings can learn to be closer to each other rather than further tear the relationship apart over time.
A therapist can also be helpful in teaching you how to manage stress, and if you’re feeling apprehensive about the holidays, there are tools that can aid you in staying calm not only during this busy season but all year-round.
The holidays should be about appreciating everyone’s company, not about conflict. Unfortunately, two siblings who are fighting can have a negative impact on other people in the room and make their time unenjoyable as well, so there can be unintended collateral damage. That being said, hopefully these tips can provide a solution, even if it’s temporary. However, by finding a way to tackle the issue at hand, you can prevent bullying from becoming a problem in the future, and perhaps with some help, a strong bond can be created instead.